THE Northern Hawks have done their Newcastle Rugby League promotion chances no harm whatsoever by qualifying first for next weekend's reserve-grade grand final.
The Hawks thrashed minor premiers the Pickers 36-4 at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday to book a shot at the 2022 title as they push to play in the main draw next season.
Whether or not they are elevated to first grade in 2023, as well as the make up of the entire competition, remains unknown with no announcement from either Newcastle RL or state governing body NSW Rugby League.
The Hawks' bid to join this year's proceedings was denied by NSWRL, having been earlier approved by the Newcastle RL board.
Regardless of what decision is eventually made, the likes of captain-coach Brad Tighe, former NRL hooker Tyler Randell and veteran playmaker Jade Porter will be keen to clinch a major prize at McDonald Jones Stadium on September 11.
The Hawks finished the regular season ranked second on the "reggies" ladder, winning 12 games and losing four, before tasting victory in back-to-back semis over the last fortnight.
Based out of Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay, the newly-established club first fielded sides last year in reserves and under 19s before the campaign was cut short by COVID.
* WESTS won straight through to the under-19 decider after kicking a field goal in the dying stages of Saturday's 19-18 win over Lakes.
* SCONE have all four grades - firsts, reserves, under 18s and ladies league tag - featuring in Group 21 grand finals at home on Sunday.